Kosher Certifiers are not all the Same
It is my responsibility to ensure that food manufacturers who seek my certification to produce Kosher foods, fully comply with all our rituals.
Indeed, this is the duty of every Kosher certifier.
However, as our Sages say, no two people are alike: Just as their faces differ so their thinking differs. And that is the way Gd wants it to be.
There are many approaches taken by Kosher certifiers in order to ensure that the manufacturers under their certification comply with the Kosher guidelines and rituals. Some deem the high-road approach to the relationship the better whilst others look for a more collaborative relationship.
Similarly, there are a few significant and some subtle variations between different Kosher certifiers and their attitude towards innovations in Halacha. Some will evaluate the Halacha, confer with other Rabbanim and debate the issues and make a decision to follow a path that is loyal to the Halacha and its traditional process, whilst others will simply consult whoever they deem to be the senior and respected certifiers they follow.
This is how it looks - there is always a reference to Halacha, and sources are quoted, as are opinions of modern Poskim; however, the significant difference that emerges is whether the arguments are presented in terms that the readers are able and indeed asked to, evaluate and question.
My certification process is not founded on the easy and comfortable "follow the leader" approach. Such an approach makes life much easier because it means that one is not engaged in any Halachic innovation and avoids all Halachic responsibility. To my mind, this is shirking ones responsibility as a rabbi.
Such an attitude and mindset does not serve the best interests of the Kosher community. Many more foods should be available as Kosher and Kosher foods should not be notoriously expensive.
A central feature of my commitment to the community is my focus on daily intense Torah study. I learn usually from 8.30am to 1pm, 6 days a week, in Melbourne's premier Kollel of the ultra orthodox community, a 5 minutes walk from my home. I don't think there is another rabbi in Australia who is working in Kashrus as I am, and who devotes so much intense time to studying Torah.
Furthermore, I am particularly fortunate to have been welcomed to discuss directly with HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, various Halachic matters related to Kashrus. This is an exceptional and rare privilege. Rav Chaim is recognised internationally as one of the world's foremost Halachci experts.
Consequently, I have pioneered innovations but all within our Halachic traditions, that have yielded astounding results for Australia's Kosher community. One example that springs to mind is the Lord of the Fries, which was the first in Australia's 3 decades of Kashrus, to provide fresh hot food in Melbourne's CBD and shopping centre. And in early 2015 we expanded the range of Kosher cheeses to include some of Australia's best known brands - Coon, Cracker Barrel; Mersey Valley, King Island, South Cape etc.
This is a particularly good illustration of the differences that identify and highlight the advantages that emerge from our approach. We have managed to provide the Shach's standard for Kosher cheese, which is the stricter standard, by following the guidance and advice of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.
see more here about Rabbi Rabi, and here about the superiority of smaller Kosher orgs & here